How Can I Make My Game More Fun?

otterZ

Member
My game is in early access and I'm really listening carefully to what players want in the game. One player said that my game is boring and that it needs to be more fun. This is a fair comment.

My game 'Boot Camp Fitness' is a non-VR workout game. If it was VR I could think of many ideas to make it more fun. Making a non-VR workout game really fun is a challenge.

So far I have 18 unlock-able locations (the more time put into the game the more locations unlock) and fun military ranks to unlock, such as Sergeant Sixpack or Major Motivation etc. There is also a kind of military 'Congratulations' at the end of workouts where the sprite animation salutes. These are kind of fun . . . but I'm stuck for ideas on how to make it even more fun.

Here's a video of a short 10 min workout, since then I've released an update with improvements, but it gives an idea of what the game is about:

Maybe I could include a configurable option for a kind of crazy mode? Where perhaps an army drill instructor could shout encouragement at the player in a funny way?
Another idea is that more things could be unlocked as more workout time is put in - such as extra exercises or info about various aspects of nutrition (with a nutritionist advising what that content might be?). But then again, is that really fun?
The one thing I can't do is change the sprite's appearance, such as giving her unlock-able workout gear etc as I'm using pseudo 3D.

I'd really appreciate some help with ideas to make this game more fun.
 

Toque

Member
The work out gear would be good. Too bad.
Could have emoji or player icons that could be upgradable



could have simulated opponents. Beat the other players kind of thing. More workouts the more points. Have kind of simulated rankings. Get to the top.
Maybe virtual prizes. Work towards a bmw car. Or vacation. Every workout could add on a feature to the vacation. Seat upgrades. Room upgrades. Massages etc. same with car. Could upgrade car.

Nice idea and looks good.
 

otterZ

Member
Thank you for your ideas Toque.
I like the idea of virtual prizes. There could be awards awarded for doing a certain amount of press ups or burpees etc. As well as prizes for set challenges introduced into the game later in development. That is worth thinking into.
A virtual vacation is a neat idea, maybe an exclusive workout location could be temporarily unlocked as a bonus for a set amount of time - for just one week for example, like a real vacation. A steam achievement badge could be unlocked as a result of this too.
Perhaps rare workout locations could be unlocked with hidden steam achievements, that only a handful of players will discover. Maybe as an extension to this different workout endings could be unlocked, such as a military flyby or some other fun congratulations graphic.
I like these two ideas especially that you suggested Toque, thanks again.
 

BQubed

Member
Honestly, I think your major issue is your target market. To my eyes, this doesn't seem like a game but more of an interactive workout video. While that's not a bad thing, it's something that's bound to be EXTREMELY niche among the gaming community because, let's face it, it's a largely sedentary community. You do have some gamification in it, such as unlockable ranks and locations, but in the grand scheme of things, is that enough to call it a game? Coming from a background as a former fitness company owner and subpar indie developer, I would advise rebranding your game into a fitness app rather than a fitness game. The guy who tried your game said it was boring because he approached it from the perspective of a game, and frankly he's right. You want people to buy/download your game because it's an app to help them get in shape rather than a game they can play.

If you adopt that mindset, I'd say shift your focus away from creating unlockable content and rather focus on creating progressive workout plans with a great variety (while of course making sure that these plans are appropriate). The idea for different backgrounds is harmless, but ultimately I wouldn't really even call it a feature since people playing your game will most likely be too busy sweating to care what background it is. Rankings could be fun for people, but the only reason most people care about rankings and achievements is so that they can share them online so perhaps create a leaderboard.

There's a lot you can do with this, but I think shifting your focus away from superficial elements, like backgrounds and achievements, and focusing more on creating a product that will actually educate and help people get in shape will be far more beneficial. If you want to find great and interesting material then go to Jeff Cavaliers channel on Youtube called Athlean-X. He's a brilliant personal trainer.
 

otterZ

Member
Thank you BQubed, good points and an interesting perspective.

I agree that the game is extremely niche, that's okay though as long as the niche group is happy working out to the game/app. Yes, fair comment about people expecting a game if it is not branded clearly as workout centred. I can actually revise the Steam store page to better reflect this, thank you for the heads up.

Shifting focus to progressive workout plans / challenges instead of putting extra focus on unlockable rewards etc, makes total sense. I agree and this is good food for thought. Creating a leaderboard is an interesting idea. I really like your point about shifting focus from adding superficial elements to concentrating more on adding workout content. That is my favourite point that you made and it has sunk in, as I want this game to get better and better over time.

I'm a fellow Jeff Cavalier fan too, like yourself BQubed. I've gone through Zero, AX1 and Shred and have purchased AX2 (but have not completed AX2 yet). I found Shred to be really tough. I'm re-doing Zero at the moment as I've been laid off until July 1st. I really love Shaun T's workouts too.

Excellent points BQubed and great to have your perspective as a former fitness company owner too. Great food for thought,
 

tetris_mess

Member
To further your potential in finding a wider audience, please consider that people are always thinking about what their worth is in terms of being self-motivated, self-involved enough, self-supporting, and self-disciplined, while also having self-acceptance. I would recommend making sure any graphical control element is concerned with these thoughts and an understanding a person may or may not have about his or herself.
 

otterZ

Member
Thank you tetris_mess; self-motivation is a good point in particular. I've exercised along to programs that have a voice over from a trainer, or graphical kinds of motivation, as in "You've got this!" or "You're almost there . . . keep going!" This would no doubt motivate some players.

Maybe have this as a configurable feature that players can either turn on or off, as I always want to turn it off lol. This way players who would welcome extra motivation and encouragement could turn this feature on, whereas other players who don't want this feature can just toggle it off.

Good point about making the player feel involved. I will try to make the game as configurable as I can as the more control the player has over what they want in a workout or from a game the better. Giving the player independence - as in not being controlled by the game, but being more in control of the game instead.

Some players really like the straight forward - hit start and the algorithms will build a workout for you approach; however I can see from feedback that other players want more control, such as a feature to build their own workouts and save them as favourites etc.

Self-discipline wise, I will add a workout calendar at some point and perhaps challenges - such as a 30 day challenge etc, with some kind of reward.

Thanks again for your ideas and for your points about making sure to focus on what the player needs.
 

tetris_mess

Member
Yeah, self-understanding is the result of this and a lot more people aren't going to low-level sources that conduct chemical levels in the body when playing a game, so this will be a perfect option for them.
 
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